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Kebbab Takes Only Bite Out Of South African Strength

Jul 14, 2007  - Craig Lord

South Africa strengthened their stranglehold in the pool at the All-Africa Games on Friday, taking five of the six golds up for grabs.

That one miss provided evidence of wider progress in the water across the African continent, Algerian Nabil Kebbab claiming the touch over South African Jean Basson 1:50.30 to 1:50.33 over 200m freestyle, with another pioneer, Kenya?s Jason Dunford third on 1:50.64.

"This morning I started with the idea of winning this title and I saw that with the crowd I couldn't miss it," Kebbab told reporters. At the world championships in March, Kebbab finished 46th in 1:51.95.

The other five golds went to Melissa Corfe over 200m freestyle, in a Games record of 2:02.45 (still some catching up to do there, of course - it was 1972 when Shane Gould took the world record to 2:03),Amanda Loots clocked 27.60 over 50m butterfly, Suzaan van Biljon the 200m breaststroke in 2:32.30 and one to watch, Riaan Schoeman, took the 400m medley in 4:21.91 before anchoring the South African quartet to stave off a challenge from Algeria, the top medals going in 7:31.70 and 7:32.50.